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For our community and beyond we utilize cutting edge techniques and devices to deliver second chances. We are laser focused on saving lives and offering hope where there was previously none.

Dr. David A. Bruno, MD, FACS
Interim Division Chair

Giving Life to See Life

James (Jay) Gould and Jonathan (Adam) Alford are both VCU employees who work at the Center for Trauma and Critical Care Education.

Jay and Adam work closely together as the Director and Assistant Director, respectively, of the Center for Trauma and Critical Care Education in the Department of Surgery, Acute Care Surgical Services division. The two have known each other since the late nineties, when Adam took a class Jay was teaching.

Towards the end of 2021, Jay received news that he would be in need of a kidney transplant. After passing the battery of tests to prove he was eligible for transplant, he began the process of finding a living donor. Jay handed out cards to potential donors at VCU Health. He was amazed at how many people were interested in being tested to be a donor. Along with family, several employees in the VCU Health System agreed to undergo testing, including Adam. Jay said, “I was really surprised that there were so many people who are just willing to do it.”

From Adam’s point of view, it was an easy decision to get tested. He had no family nor medical history of kidney problems and doubted that he would actually be a match. Jokingly, he said, “I can get those extra eval points just by going and getting tested.” He was surprised when he was contacted by Maureen Bell, a living donor coordinator at VCU Health, who told him he was eligible to be a living donor. The decision to actually go through with it and donate, Alford says, was easy: “Let’s do this thing… My wife [said], ‘You have to, you know. You can’t have this match and then not do it.’”

The dual transplant surgeries were performed by Dr. Adrian Cotterell (operated on Jay) and Dr. Amit Sharma (operated on Adam).

One of Jay’s primary reasons to receive a kidney donation was to be able to welcome his granddaughter into the world. Because of Adam’s kidney donation to Jay, Jay was able to do that.

Through this experience, Jay and Adam have become more committed to promoting living organ donorship. Jay spoke of his desire to continue promoting living donorship, including speaking with people who are going through the process and who may be worried about the implications of the process. Living donors do not necessarily have to be living in the same state as donor recipients; the network is already created, and VCU Health System is part of that system.

By the numbers


Mortality O:E


Length of Stay O:E


Focused PSI O:E


7-Day Readmission